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June 24th , 2016

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- Last night I sent this tweet to the BDGF which led to a ton of replication experiments, including a replication video:

 

Science!

- How much Hamilton content is contained in the rest of this post? One item is 100% Hamilton, the other two I managed to shoe horn some in there, so no worries.

- Shhh! Don't tell the littlest but we have three tickets to see Hamilton in Chicago this December. I have no idea how I will contain my excitement or keep the secret for six months, but when it goes down we may all spontaneously combust from excitement.

- For friend of the blog Dr. Walker, here's Michael Shannon being adorable lip syncing to REM and The Pixies. Plus, Emmy campaigns are getting interesting: here's Bruce Campbell being very Brucey, and Titus Andromedon auditions for Hamilton.

- Finally, I (obv.) recently purchased this T-shirt, and post Brexit, it has a dual meeting. You're on your own...

I'm 100% certain that this will cost me a ton of money from my retirement account, and it makes me fearful for November, because hubris and xenophobia clearly carried the day here. But hey, at least the UKIP immediately backtracked on their immigration and NHS policies, so you got what out of this? Thanks. Still a great T-shirt tho...

Posted 10:44am
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June 14th , 2016

Tuesdays are for politickin': The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Edition

The Good
Not only is Cananada legalizing weed, but they're doing it for super conservative reasons while being adorable with babies! The fact that the GOP nominated Trump makes me want to move there immediately.

In better news stateside, the courts upheld net neutrality! It may seem small, but I assure you that those who understand these things let out a collective "Whew!"

The Bad
I know this may not be surprising, but the only reason climate change denial exists turns out is because the coal industry spent an avalanche of money to ensure it did. I rarely think about former commentor around these parts ljv, but occasionally I shake my head, laugh a little laugh and think "What an idiot." I'll never understand being afraid of people smarter than you.

The Ugly
The right and their standard bearer are using the tragedy in Orlando to continue to try and make you scared of Muslims. They do this because people are stupid and if they tried to address something, say like assault rifles, their bosses would take away their precious money.

I don't agree with Democrats about everything by a long stretch. But how anyone would align themselves with the GOP is literally beyond me. Watch this and (naturally) this and then wonder what kind of person, so lacking in empathy, sides with a racist who self congratulates in the wake of a tragedy.

Posted 3:29pm
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June 10th , 2016

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- As a super lefty progressive, my dream running mate for Hillary would of course be Elizabeth Warren. I know this is almost 30 minutes long, but watch this speech. It's really too bad she couldn't drop the mic at the end. Think about it, what would be more appropriate than a misogynist getting his ass handed to him by a pair of women who are his better in every conceivable way? #thinskinnedracistbully

- OK, maybe you don't have 30 minutes for Senator Warren. How about 10 for President Obama as he slow jams the news? There's even a joke about butt stuff!

- Obligatory Hamilton update: here's the cast performing "Wait For it" in 360 degrees. Yup, I can't wait for the Tonys.

- Wormer... dead. Niedermeyer.. .dead. Howe... Can a fortnight pass this year without a collective scream of "FUCK YOU 2016!" emanating from the internet? I met Gordie Howe once (which it makes me happy to have done and remember and why I can talk about it under this headline). He was retired. A living legend who went around signing books to generate money for this charity or that. He was 45 years older than me and if we had gotten in a fight, no one would have bet on me. He was of course modest and an utter gentleman. This NYTimes obit lays it all out. And of course, there's this...

- Finally, the summer blockbusters for the next few weeks suck butt. That's lamentable because I love popcorn movies, and doubly so because it's the one time I get to see Siddhartha. Of course what is amazing is that we still go see a lot of movies together. My dad and I had Michigan football, and Sid and I have movies. Getting him to do much else is pulling teeth (which I try not to do) but he's always game to see a Star War or super person run around and punch things. It's not everything I've ever wanted, but I get to regularly enjoy my kid as a person and an adult, which is pretty great.

Posted 3:53pm
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June 7th , 2016

This Week in Indie Rock

- If you aren't burned out on Prince and David Bowie covers yet, Spoon paid tribute recently, and it is appropriately Spoon-y and awesome.

- Since the blog has slowed to a crawl around here, you can absolutely expect every post in the near future to contain some Hamilton data in it, since that's what is occupying about 30% of my waking hours these days. I mean, I hover around 70% gay, but I've never watched the Tonys before. That changes this Sunday, so maybe I need to adjust that 70% number. In any case, for those of you as excited as I am, here's Lin-Manuel Miranda et al doing Carpool Karaoke with Tony's host James Cordon.

- Beck's Odelay turns 20 years old any day now, which makes me positively ancient. For me and the people I was hanging out with, it was the definitive album of our college experience. I doubt I went to a party for two years without hearing multiple tracks from the modern masterpiece. It's dated in ways, but so is Off the Wall, and you could play either at a party and people would dance their asses off. Anyway, Beck just dropped a new track, and it's the funky, fun loving Beck, and not the wistful acoustic one*, so rejoice!

* I still love both of these Becks, just not the Scientology one.

- Finally, Chuck Klosterman's latest tome comes out today. Years ago a few people said I both look and write like Klosterman - half of which is much more true than the other, and no offense to either of use, but not the half I would prefer. Anyway, here's an excerpt from But What If we're Wrong?, examining what the world will distill rock and roll to in 300 years. I think he too easily sloughs off the right answer (The Beatles) but it's a better read for doing so (something I constantly struggle with). Anyway, hopefully he still believes what he wrote in his first book that so endeared me to him: "But I can't deny my heart: I like to drink, and I like to rock. You think I'm an idiot? Fine. You don't have to come over."

Posted 11:21am
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June 1st , 2016

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- Every year classic rock icon Eddie Money opens the outdoor concert season at Pine Knob here in Michigan. No one really knows why this is a thing, which is perhaps why my friend Stov and I have been obsessed with it for so long. As weird and hilarious as we find the premise, we've only ever gone to see the spectacle once. Outside of all the classic rock goodness, the most memorable aspect of the experience was how he wouldn't stop talking about how stupid American Idol was for not letting his daughter on the show. Like, he didn't just mention it in passing, he talked about it a lot. Throughout the show. I tell you this is as context for this story about what a huge asshole Mr. Money (allegedly) is. Just sayin' I'm buying it.

- Last night we went and saw Courtney Barnett in Detroit and Christ on a bike can she rock. Along with St. Vincent, she's one of my two favorite guitar players at the moment*. Anyway, here she is on SNL and Fallon.

* Is it weird to note that my two favorite guitar players are women? I mean, like I shouldn't have to make a thing about it because who cares but it still feels significant? Maybe I'm being overly sensitive? I mean, I would never say she rocks for a girl, so I'm OK, right?

- I'm going back to school!

- If you're not watching Silicon Valley, well listen, it's season three so that's on you. Catch up. While I agree with most people that a little TJ Miller goes a long way, this super long take of him hurling elderly insults is pretty fucking great.

- Finally, we were in FLA last weekend to celebrate friend o' the blog Markie C's 4 decades on Earth. It was a great weekend save for one heart breaking fact - we couldn't get him on board with Hamilton. I should have known when he said he hadn't heard it yet, but I figured once he did, he'd find it as irresistible as the rest of us. It didn't go that way. Instead he insisted that we will all be embarrassed by it in 5 years, like it's Cats or Rent. I could craft a cogent argument as to why that's not going to be the case, but you know what? Fuck it. I really don't care if I'll be ashamed someday about being obsessed with a musical for 9 months of my life. Sure Dawson's Creek doesn't hold up, but I still love that I loved it 20 years ago. And people can make fun of Van Halen all they want, but those first half dozen albums are still amazing to me. I bet that someday I'll be taking my grandkids to go see a revival of Hamilton so that they can fall in love with it too, but if for whatever reason it doesn't hold up, I'm still enjoying the shit out of it now. Here's the Rolling Stone interview with my current man crush Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Posted 11:42am
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May 13th , 2016

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- Obviously I am a huge fan of Bruce Willis' 1987 album The Return of Bruno. Whom among us isn't wistful for the old days where MTV had to give air time to stupid, objectively horrible celebrity vanity projects? Sure we still have the Bacon Brothers and Thirty Odd Foot of Grunt and whatever Billy Bob Thornton is up to, but do they get an hour long HBO special that glorifies their hubris? No. Only Bruce Willis gets that. You're welcome.

- Listen, we all want Elizabeth Warren to be Hillary's running mate. None more so than me, who has a long list of reservations about our future first female president (hint: she ain't that liberal). However, let me float this by you: Vice President Franken.

- Being privileged white people, Hamilton looms large in our house. Yesterday, I was telling the littlest how Lin-Manuel Miranda not only stars in the musical, but he wrote the score and the book and she immediately started to scream "THERE'S A BOOK?!?!" She settled down after I explained what book means in musical theater terms, but it was literally adorable beyond words. Anyway, here's Lin-Manuel and J.J. Abrams singing the cantina theme from the latest Star Wars. Call me guys, you'd love hanging out with me.

- There are only two movies on this list of the 80 best directed movies of all time that I've yet to see. Some day I'll carve out six hours, get me some of them eye holder openers from A Clockwork Orange and watch Gone with the Wind and Dr. Zhivago all in one painful swoop, and then I can finally rest.

- Finally, I'm just going to leave this here. Have a good weekend.

 

Posted 3:27pm
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May 5th , 2016

This fucking guy

Yesterday I reiterated the fact that I have no use for anyone who votes for Donald Trump in November. I'm going to be a broken record about this, if for no other reason than to reiterate exactly how serious I am.

The other point I am going to ham-fistedly beat to death around here is this: everything you read in the next six months has a vested interest in a "close race." The media needs Donald Trump and they need him to be competitive. Progressives like myself will bloviate about it because we can't afford apathy - even in the face of the most unelectable Oompa Loompa ever to stick his tiny hand into the race.

Hillary just released two ads about the Donald. They're exclusively built on what Trump has said and what his party has said about him. It's a prescient reminder as to how much of an empty suit we are dealing with. Even if Clinton botches campaign moments like in '08, or millennials stay home because she represents the old corporate paradigm, Trump is still gonna get beaten like a red-headed step child, all while every news source available to you is going to make it seem otherwise for as long as they can. I mean, that's how it'll play out or I'm fucking done with this country.

Posted 1:16pm
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May 4th , 2016

Never bet on the man with the most punchable face

So Ted Cruz finished second in a war of attrition. Thankfully that's as close as he'll ever get to being President, because for all the blustering about how awful Trump is, Ted Cruz was worse. Like, a lot worse.

So hooray! We avoided a theocracy! Again. It won't be the last time we have to go through this. It'll get worse before it gets better. But right now we have to turn our focus towards the other xenophobic, loud mouth, bigoted demagouge that people will actually have a chance to vote for in November. I'll be really interested to find out which Republicans I know still intend to vote for their party now that Trump is their nominee. Quitting facebook won't be enough to cut those hateful, gullible morons from my life.

- And while we are at it, climate change deniers can go fuck themselves too.

- Oh, and in happier news, may the fourth be with you.

Posted 10:57am
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April 28th , 2016

Assessing the fuck off

I'm of course still contemplating my decision to ditch the facebook. Yes, my major problem turned out to be that people in real life couldn't keep their mouths shut about the derp that is inherent online. Yes, I've only ultimately made it harder to see the derp, not eliminated my ability to see it at all if I am ultimately compelled. Most importantly perhaps, yes, I should stay and push back and call these xenophobic dickheads on their shit, because silence is consent.

Given all that, I still feel good about my decision. Moving across town to get away from toxic waste isn't as good as leaving the state, but it's still an improvement. And while telling people who want to boycott Target that they are small minded hateful bigots feels good, I'm still stuck ruminating for days on how upset ignorance makes me and lamenting the fact that I hate the place where I grew up with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.

The GOP revels in the concept of "Real America". It longs for something that frankly, never existed. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, and if this rhetoric doesn't upset you, well it'd take quite an argument to convince me you are not a real moron. Real or "normal" America doesn't mean what they think it does. I know that facts mean nothing to them, or are at least overridden by their guts, so for now, I'm going to bury the shit instead of continuing to dip a toe to see if the shit is still shit.

Posted 1:41pm
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April 26th , 2016

Na na, nana na na, hey hey hey, goodbye

Social media is generally really good at letting you be passive aggressive. Most platforms let you give an Irish goodbye to your friends via a block or an unfollow - and they don't even have to know it. You just don't have to be inundated with their bullshit in your feed or timeline anymore.

This has worked very well for me over the years. Out of the few hundred "friends" I had on facebook, there were really only a dozen or so that I actually followed. The rest could post all the inanities they liked and I was none the wiser. Except for the fact that approximately twice a year I'd get a "Did you see what so and so posted on facebook?" and then I'd be compelled to look and have my day ruined.

Turns out my brother-in-law is a real Grade A conservative asshole. A while back he lost his shit when gay marriage was legalized, and now he's having a conniption about all of the hateful, disgusting, transphobic bathroom laws being passed around the country. Apparently blocking him from my timeline hasn't far enough removed me from his toxicity, so I decided to just quit facebook.

It's a completely redundant platform anyway. Almost everything I see on it is duplicated on instagram or twitter. Since I think wishing someone happy birthday on there is bullshit anyway, I fail to see what I'm going to miss out on by abandoning ship. I mean, the ugly, hateful rhetoric that makes me want to punch someone I used to like, but I'm guessing I can live without that.

Posted 8:53am
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April 21st , 2016

Tales from the Buckeye State

One of the things you have to tell children these days is that everything on the internet lives forever. Not just that if you write a blog for ten years that you'll eventually be embarrassed by the quality of your writing from your youth, but that every picture, comment, review or tweet is going to exist long after your dead for anyone to find. Good times, and bad.

Adults need to remember the infinite nature of the internet's memory too. And when you helm a popular internet destination like tbaggervance.com, there's always a chance that something you post goes viral. Or at least gets co-opted by another website that even more people are likely to see. Take the website for the Put-in-Bay Jet Express, who has apparently co-opted a picture from our little abode to promote the debauchery that is Put-in-Bay.

Don't worry, the tbaggervance.com legal team is working on arranging appropriate compensation for the fact that a commercial entity is using our art to sell their services. Also, don't worry that I might at some point take down any embarrassing thing I've written or posted here. Everything on the internet lives forever. Remember that.

- I feel like I've been too nice to Ohio in this post. So to right the ship, let's all point and laugh at how many Limp Bizkit fans there still are in that godforsaken state. I hope they really can "make Dayton a kind of cool spot that we could all come to and rock out." Unfortunately, I've been there. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Posted 9:30am
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April 12th , 2016

Watch out!

- Here's the 100 greatest action one-liners in film history. Recommended for when you are all out of bubblegum.

- Nick Offerman's shower thoughts. Like a 21st century Jack Handy.

- The plethora of things that even non-Nerds know about Star Wars despite the fact that they aren't mentioned in the movie may astound you.

- Dan Harmon's brilliant web series Great Minds visits with Billy Shakespeare.

- The Thermals rally for Bernie, play the Blind Pig next Thursday.

- Not sure why this is posted now, but here's a video of the differences in Scott Pilgrim, book to movie (GO!)

- Anyone with any taste will tell you that Mel Blanc was one of the great actors of the 20th century - even if you rarely saw his face. So relish this opportunity to see him crack up Jack Benny (about 12 minutes in).

Posted 2:17pm
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This page is written and maintained by Tyler Brubaker. All content is spewed forth from the author's brain, unless otherwise credited. He views his opinion as much more valid than yours, but welcomes all thoughts and comments.